The January Philosophy Book of the Month 2019 is The Runaway Species. Discuss The Runaway Species now.

The February Philosophy Book of the Month is The Fourth Age by Byron Reese (Nominated by RJG.) Discuss The Fourth Age now.

In Defense of Flogging

Discuss morality and ethics in this message board.
Featured Article: Philosophical Analysis of Abortion, The Right to Life, and Murder
Eduk
Posts: 2450
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Eduk » January 21st, 2019, 12:01 pm

@Arjen thank you for the straightforward reply. Very rare.
It's just you say things like this
The fact of the matter is that the justice system has a number of functions:
1) Retaliation to satisfy the need for revenged of the victims and of the society as a whole.
As if this is an undeniable fact. But it isn't. Many would argue that the justice system is for justice not revenge (hence the name).
All I'm really trying to point out is that your posts seem over confident to me. As you admit you are in no way an authority on the topic, so I was wondering what gives you this self confidence?
Unknown means unknown.

Alias
Posts: 2557
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett

Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Alias » January 21st, 2019, 12:12 pm

One aspect of the criminal justice system that hasn't been examined very closely:
- a compliant population

This is why flogging is the standard punishment for misbehaving slaves, keel-hauling is the punishment of choice among pirates, caning is popular with the headmasters of boys' schools and forced marching in full pack is the routine in armies: these sentences are carried out in view of all the other potential rebels. It's a graphic deterrent against any kind non-conforming behaviour.
Public hanging, beheading, quartering, impalement and burning not only provide entertainment and epicaricacy to an emotionally volatile repressed mob, but also include the onlookers in the triumph of the authority.
The group psychological component of retribution is far more important than any concern for the miscreant's rehabilitation. The mood America is in right now, you could bring back public execution to loud cheers - or flogging,or the stocks: many people would find that satisfying.

User avatar
Arjen
Posts: 73
Joined: January 16th, 2019, 4:53 am
Favorite Philosopher: Immanuel Kant

Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Arjen » January 21st, 2019, 1:41 pm

Eduk wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 12:01 pm
@Arjen thank you for the straightforward reply. Very rare.
It's just you say things like this
The fact of the matter is that the justice system has a number of functions:
1) Retaliation to satisfy the need for revenged of the victims and of the society as a whole.
As if this is an undeniable fact. But it isn't. Many would argue that the justice system is for justice not revenge (hence the name).
All I'm really trying to point out is that your posts seem over confident to me. As you admit you are in no way an authority on the topic, so I was wondering what gives you this self confidence?
Revenge is a part of justice. If a person is wronged, that person should be compensated. Financially wronged a fine would do. But, a child beaten...a flogging might be just what the doctor ordered: revenge. Historically speaking, this is one of the primary reasons for a justice system. To prevent lynch mobs and to make society more orderly and safe and reasonable. No one likes a witch hunt, for example, but people create them when they do not understand those 2 girls that began to have fits described as "beyond the power of epileptic fits or natural disease to effect", like in Salem.

Eduk
Posts: 2450
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Eduk » January 21st, 2019, 3:05 pm

Historically speaking lynch mobs occur due to unreasonable beliefs.
Unknown means unknown.

User avatar
Arjen
Posts: 73
Joined: January 16th, 2019, 4:53 am
Favorite Philosopher: Immanuel Kant

Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Arjen » January 21st, 2019, 3:25 pm

Eduk wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 3:05 pm
Historically speaking lynch mobs occur due to unreasonable beliefs.
Hanging a horse thief is no unreasonable belief.
You are wrong.

I'll give the example of the French revolution. The whole country was starving, then the queen said: instead of bread, they can eat cake! A lynch mob formed consisting out of the whole population, placing royalty and nobles and their friends under the quillotine for years. No unreasonable belief involved.

Alias
Posts: 2557
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett

Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Alias » January 21st, 2019, 4:49 pm

Arjen wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 1:41 pm
Revenge is a part of justice. If a person is wronged, that person should be compensated.
That would be justice. But punishment of one person doesn't give anything tangible to another.
In some societies, if you kill a man in anger, you have to take over support of his dependents: that's compensation. If you steal a horse, you have to return that horse, plus the labour missed in in its absence. Compensation is making up the loss in some way.
Financially wronged a fine would do.
Only if its paid to the victim, not to the state.
But, a child beaten...a flogging might be just what the doctor ordered: revenge.
But that's why the child got beaten in the first place! He did something against the rules and was punished. If, in the meantime, you made some arbitrary rule that corporal punishment is reserved for the state, you are most certainly not administering I can recognize as justice. All you're doing is raising yet another generation that believes that violence solves problems.
No one likes a witch hunt,
Everybody loves a witch-hunt, except the designated witch and those few bleeding-heart progressives.

Eduk
Posts: 2450
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Eduk » January 21st, 2019, 5:50 pm

@Arjen Read a book on the French revolution.
Unknown means unknown.

User avatar
Arjen
Posts: 73
Joined: January 16th, 2019, 4:53 am
Favorite Philosopher: Immanuel Kant

Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Arjen » January 21st, 2019, 6:26 pm

Alias wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 4:49 pm
That would be justice. But punishment of one person doesn't give anything tangible to another.
In some societies, if you kill a man in anger, you have to take over support of his dependents: that's compensation. If you steal a horse, you have to return that horse, plus the labour missed in in its absence. Compensation is making up the loss in some way.
I agree, but the majority of the people do not.
That is why this is a part of our justice system (and I think every justice system).
But that's why the child got beaten in the first place! He did something against the rules and was punished. If, in the meantime, you made some arbitrary rule that corporal punishment is reserved for the state, you are most certainly not administering I can recognize as justice. All you're doing is raising yet another generation that believes that violence solves problems.
I agree, but most people do not.
Again, that is the reason why it is a part of our justice system.

We can argue about what we think is the best way to deal with things, but not about why punishment is a part of the justice system. It was, is and likely always will be revenge.

p.s.
====Disclaimer====
I do not beat my son!
:P
Eduk wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 5:50 pm
@Arjen Read a book on the French revolution.
It was a colorful representation :)
But the point stays.
Revenge is an important part of what we know today as justice.

Judaka
Posts: 251
Joined: May 2nd, 2017, 10:10 am

Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Judaka » January 21st, 2019, 8:28 pm

Arjen wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 5:49 am
You state that if we accept the OP, flogging is preferred by the criminals and therefore, I should not argue against that. That is what is called a petitio principii.
No, I didn't state that you shouldn't argue against flogging for that reason. You posited some comparisons between prison and flogging without any hard evidence supporting any of your claims, I can't just accept them at face value. How can flogging be a greater deterrent if people prefer it as an option? It doesn't make much sense to me. You also say those who were wronged would feel more satisfied with flogging over prison, this again, doesn't really seem to make sense given that those who were wronged (when seeking vengeance) should want a worse punishment over a lighter one.

These claims are yet to be substantiated.
Arjen wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 5:49 am
I agree. And is a small fine or banishment more deterring than a good flogging? I think not! The flogging will deter more
The irony is not lost on me, that this should be a real example of your "petitio principii", anybody would pay a small fine to avoid being flogged, how is that an argument in favour of flogging over a fine? Now I don't know exactly how much of a deterrent flogging is compared to other punishments, have no way of knowing. Just to make sure we're on the same page, flogging I'm not talking about with a stick, I'm talking about a whip that going to draw blood and probably leave scars, extremely painful. You haven't stated an actual crime yet but any crime that would be punished with a fine would be completely senseless to also consider flogging.

Just because the government has the power to punish people severely for small crimes, under the pretence of deterrents and crime reduction, that doesn't mean they should. Not to mention, recidivism is a complicated topic, deterrents are also complicated. You can make assumptions but at least for my part, logic doesn't apply to crime as well as you might think. Makes sense only when you think about it a bit more.

We also can't really compare flogging in a historical context to modern-day punishments which medieval governments had no access to or ability to enforce. There's no sex offender registry, you can't enforce bans on going near places/people, you can't afford to incarcerate large numbers of people. Also, medieval governments were led by ignorant, ineffective rulers in comparison to modern-day, the whole comparison is a silly imo.

Alias
Posts: 2557
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett

Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Alias » January 21st, 2019, 8:39 pm

why punishment is a part of the justice system. It was, is and likely always will be revenge.
Whatever you call justice, revenge is one of the things the justice system attempts to prevent.
The punishment, whether by pain or loss of freedom or some combination, is is administered by the state. In most crimes, the principal/primary/most wronged victim is not the state but an individual. The state is only a secondary or incidental victim in that its rules have been broken and its order disrupted. For this alone, the state entitles itself to administer some form of retribution. Thus, if the principal victim does exact revenge, the state inflict upon him the same punishment that it would on a criminal.

User avatar
Arjen
Posts: 73
Joined: January 16th, 2019, 4:53 am
Favorite Philosopher: Immanuel Kant

Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Arjen » January 22nd, 2019, 2:59 am

Judaka wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 8:28 pm
No, I didn't state that you shouldn't argue against flogging for that reason. You posited some comparisons between prison and flogging without any hard evidence supporting any of your claims, I can't just accept them at face value.
How can flogging be a greater deterrent if people prefer it as an option? It doesn't make much sense to me. You also say those who were wronged would feel more satisfied with flogging over prison, this again, doesn't really seem to make sense given that those who were wronged (when seeking vengeance) should want a worse punishment over a lighter one.
That is what you said and you just did t again. I have already nuanced it clearly. It behooves no 'hard evidence', as you say, because it is as clear as can be. The mistake in the OP was to compare crimes that would get a person in prison for 10 years with 1 simple flogging. If we compare 3 months in prison or a severe flogging that lasts for 1 hour 3 days in a row, I bet most people will choose 3 months in jail. You were and are ignoring that nuance because it contradicts the OP.
The irony is not lost on me, that this should be a real example of your "petitio principii", anybody would pay a small fine to avoid being flogged, how is that an argument in favour of flogging over a fine? Now I don't know exactly how much of a deterrent flogging is compared to other punishments, have no way of knowing. Just to make sure we're on the same page, flogging I'm not talking about with a stick, I'm talking about a whip that going to draw blood and probably leave scars, extremely painful. You haven't stated an actual crime yet but any crime that would be punished with a fine would be completely senseless to also consider flogging.
Nuancing is important in this topic. Depending on the what punishments you imagine, flogging is either more desirable or less. So a bigger deterrent or a smaller one. Given that in most countries corporeal punishments are abolished, I think there is no current example to give, so all examples are thought experiments. We can imagine a situation where a good flogging is a bigger deterrent and in that way we can discuss if we think it could be more effective or humane.
Just because the government has the power to punish people severely for small crimes, under the pretence of deterrents and crime reduction, that doesn't mean they should. Not to mention, recidivism is a complicated topic, deterrents are also complicated. You can make assumptions but at least for my part, logic doesn't apply to crime as well as you might think. Makes sense only when you think about it a bit more.
I agree. Logic does apply to crimes if we understand that people in a tight spot start showing a stronger and stronger narcissism. It is a term in psycho-analysis that explains a self-defense system in the human feelings/thoughts. When this takes place, a form of fight or flight feeling becomes dominant, which makes decision very much about now. People forget about what will happen years from now when they feel in danger. Crimes often have the aspect that in very short term reasoning, it is a good idea, but in long term reasoning, it isn't. A tangible example is a business deal. I sell my produce for an unfair price and am therefore benefited more. But in the long run, I lose my customers, making me benefit less. The same thing applies to people who refuse to pay. Or beating someone in order to gain something. In the long run that person will never want to help the beater again, etc.
We also can't really compare flogging in a historical context to modern-day punishments which medieval governments had no access to or ability to enforce. There's no sex offender registry, you can't enforce bans on going near places/people, you can't afford to incarcerate large numbers of people. Also, medieval governments were led by ignorant, ineffective rulers in comparison to modern-day, the whole comparison is a silly imo.
There are actually logs of crimes and sexual crimes were among them. The punishments were not so high, if I remember correctly. Banishments also happened, but I think that is not what you mean. Prohibiting someone to go near a person or a place is equally difficult today. In The Netherlands, at least, the news reports on serious crimes sometimes where the criminal was not allowed near a person but repeatedly kept approaching that person up until a horrible ending. Anyway, since data is limited, we should stick with the thought experiments.

One more thing: There were many great rulers that were very efficient in history. I think, if we compare leadership capabilities, the current generation has the shortest end of the deal! But that might be my personal opinion only. :D
Alias wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 8:39 pm
Whatever you call justice, revenge is one of the things the justice system attempts to prevent.
The justice system tries to prevent what is called 'own direction': people exacting their own (often misguided) revenge by exacting revenge for them. If you do not believe me, try to imagine a system where criminals are not punished. Innocent people will get more and more upset and will start exacting their own revenge. Think of posse's, witch hunts and revolutions. They all have the same cause.
The punishment, whether by pain or loss of freedom or some combination, is is administered by the state. In most crimes, the principal/primary/most wronged victim is not the state but an individual. The state is only a secondary or incidental victim in that its rules have been broken and its order disrupted. For this alone, the state entitles itself to administer some form of retribution. Thus, if the principal victim does exact revenge, the state inflict upon him the same punishment that it would on a criminal.
This might be what someone is telling you, but that is not why punishment exists. If I beat up my neighbor, the state is not wronged in any way.

Alias
Posts: 2557
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett

Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Alias » January 22nd, 2019, 10:17 am

Arjen wrote:
January 22nd, 2019, 2:59 am
The justice system tries to prevent what is called 'own direction': people exacting their own (often misguided) revenge by exacting revenge for them.
Except that's not what revenge means. If your brother put a rubber snake in your lunchbox, the next night, you dip his hand in warm water while he sleeps. That's revenge. You father finds out and condemns both of you to six hours of yard clean-up. That's punishment.
If you do not believe me, try to imagine a system where criminals are not punished. Innocent people will get more and more upset and will start exacting their own revenge.
That's no excuse for misusing words. The state takes on the role of father, yes. It declares a monolopy on administering justice - for a number of reasons - yes. If it does this fairly and efficiently, it has the support and co-operation of the populace; if it fails or becomes too corrupt, it loses their confidence and eventually loses control.
Think of posse's, witch hunts and revolutions. They all have the same cause.
They most certainly do not have the same cause!! The first is a perceived miscarriage or negligence of instituted justice. The second is superstitious fear. The third is seriously dysfunctional governance.
[.. The state is only a secondary or incidental victim in that its rules have been broken and its order disrupted. For this alone, the state entitles itself to administer some form of retribution.]
This might be what someone is telling you, but that is not why punishment exists. If I beat up my neighbor, the state is not wronged in any way.
Nobody's telling me; I'm telling you. "Resisting arrest", whether you've done anything wrong or not, is in itself a punishable crime.
You beat up your neighbour, your neighbour will get his two brothers to beat up you and your brother. By the end of the week, the whole street is engaged in a feud with no end in sight and still spreading. There is property damage, loss of productive work, injuries and long-term disability; lost tax revenues, etc. The state is harmed, even though it's not the primary victim.
The state is a secondary victim in every crime, even the most trivial, because its authority is flouted; its control over the population is diminished; the hierarchy of privilege and the command-structure are threatened.

User avatar
Arjen
Posts: 73
Joined: January 16th, 2019, 4:53 am
Favorite Philosopher: Immanuel Kant

Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Arjen » January 22nd, 2019, 10:32 am

@Alias: I am not misusing words. I am telling you it is about revenge. That is how that cycle of hate stops: the state decides on who to exact revenge against. Punishment is for the criminal to learn not to behave that way. revenge is for the victim(s) not to start revenging themselves. The justice system has to satisfy both demands. Rehabilitation and education are extra's.

Eduk
Posts: 2450
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Eduk » January 22nd, 2019, 2:06 pm

Yes @Alias the great @Arjen told you! What more evidence could you possibly require?
Unknown means unknown.

User avatar
Arjen
Posts: 73
Joined: January 16th, 2019, 4:53 am
Favorite Philosopher: Immanuel Kant

Re: In Defense of Flogging

Post by Arjen » January 22nd, 2019, 3:49 pm

Eduk wrote:
January 22nd, 2019, 2:06 pm
Yes @Alias the great @Arjen told you! What more evidence could you possibly require?
Ad Hominem? I thought better of you. I can give you Dutch sources, but then you will have to translate.
I apologise, I forgot that I cannot place links yet.

Here is a copy paste though:

Waarom er gestraft wordt en wat we ermee willen bereiken:

Wraak en vergelding: Misdaad mag niet lonen.
Afschrikking: Door te straffen voorkomen dat het weer gebeurt en voorkomen dat anderen het doen.
Voorkomen van eigenrichting: De overheid straft en niet de burgers.
Resocialisatie: (=heropvoeding) Het gedrag d.m.v straf te verbeteren.
Beveiliging van de samenleving: De maatschappij beschermen tegen herhaling.

Post Reply